Archive for October, 2010

Gay Bashing in Gays-ville

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

My roommate came home with a bloody and possible broken nose yesterday. She got beat up for being androgynous,  a trans-phobic form of gay-bashing. As her and a friend were walking out of Michaels (yes, the craft store), she was attacked and kicked in the face. Apparently two older women were walking into the store through the exit door, and slightly brushed up against my friend who was walking out. A slight verbal confrontation quickly made it obvious that these women were looking for a fight. After throwing insults at my friend regarding her gender, one woman spit in her face. Keeping consistent with the ethic that ‘queers bash back,’ my friend punched the lady, yet only to initiate a loosing battle, leaving my friend pretty beat up.

Gainesville, affectionately called Gays-ville by some, was voted one of the gayest cities in America. The status is mostly based on the fact that we have public officials that are openly gay, and that we are an open-minded college town that defies the norms of the otherwise conservative North Florida region. But this incident just goes to show that gay-bashing still happens. The news has recently been filled with incidents like these, especially as Pride Week comes up. It’s when it happens to a close friend that it becomes all the more real.

I don’t know what our response should be. I’m just writing to rant, not because I have anything particularly useful to say. But it fucking sucks that we have to be scared to walk around in this town. Another friend was verbally assaulted and chased while walking home the other night, and in the same week another friend became a ‘hero’ as he stopped a woman from being raped in a public park. What the fuck? This is Gainesville.

Not to turn this into a post about violence versus non-violence, but this quote from Derrick Jensen has been on my mind, and the events I described above make it real.

 

I don’t believe the question of whether to use violence is the right one. Instead, the question should be: Do you sufficiently feel the loss? So long as we discuss this in the abstract, we still have too much to lose. If we begin to feel in our bodies the immensity and emptiness of what we lose daily- intact natural communities, hours sold for wages, childhoods lost to violence, women’s capacity to walk unafraid, we’ll know precisely what to do.